Media reports on the Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care – Sri Lanka

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Source: Lien Foundation

Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care launched in Sri Lanka

ColomboThe APHN, together with Singapore philanthropic house, the Lien Foundation, partnered Sri Lanka’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) Maharagama and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) to launch the 1st Module of the Training of Trainers in Palliative Care Course for medical professionals in Sri Lanka on 24 March 2014. Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health and the National Cancer Institute have made the provision of palliative care a key priority in the country. This is in line with a historic resolution on palliative care…read more

Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care launched in Sri Lanka

“Palliative care is a new field in Sri Lanka which needs attention. While Sri Lanka is a developing country with a free health system, the development of palliative care in Sri Lanka is very slow due to lack of funds and expertise.”

~ Dr.Iresh Jayaweera (MBBS,Certificate in Palliative Care), Secretary, Cancer Care Association- Sri Lanka

The APHN, together with Singapore philanthropic house, the Lien Foundation, partnered Sri Lanka’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) Maharagama and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) to launch the 1st Module of the Training of Trainers in Palliative Care Course for medical professionals in Sri Lanka on 24 March 2014.

Palliative care a national priority for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health and the National Cancer Institute have made the provision of palliative care a key priority in the country. This is in line with a historic resolution on palliative care adopted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in January 2014. The WHO resolution urges countries to integrate palliative care in their healthcare systems, improve training for healthcare workers, and to ensure relevant medicines are available to patients.

The Lien Collaborative in Sri Lanka aims to help Sri Lanka develop a mainstream health strategy incorporating palliative care. It will scale up palliative care training in the country, and aid the expansion of palliative care services to nine major cancer centres across Sri Lanka.

Urgent need for palliative care
Even though Sri Lanka has a rather advanced healthcare system with free universal healthcare, there are currently insufficient trained professionals and hospices in the country. While an estimated 17% of deaths are caused by cancer in Sri Lanka (WHO, 2008 estimates), the country is categorised as having only “isolated palliative care provision” (Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life, 2014). Globally, it is estimated that less than 10% of the need for palliative care is currently being met; and while 80% of the global need for palliative care is in low and middle-income countries, most palliative care is provided in high-income countries (The NCD Alliance, January 2014).

Building palliative care expertise in the region
The Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care is a regional initiative co-developed by Lien Foundation and APHN to enhance capacity for palliative care services provision in selected Asian countries with little or no such services. The Collaborative’s mission is to spearhead the development of palliative care capabilities and build up a core interdisciplinary group of clinicians capable of training others and to act as champions for palliative care within those countries. Started in 2013, the four-year S$1.8million programme has launched in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Sri Lanka is the third of four countries to join the Lien Collaborative, on the back of funding from a Sri Lankan donor.

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Multi-national medical team of trainers
Taking place from 24 to 28 March 2014, the Lien Collaborative in Sri Lanka involves a multi-disciplinary medical faculty headed by Singapore’s Associate Professor Cynthia Goh and includes three other doctors and two nurses from Singapore and Australia. Three of the doctors have Sri Lankan origins, making this mission a personal voyage for them.

Strong interest from Sri Lanka – largest batch of trainees
The Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care has met with strong interest in Sri Lanka. 50 participants registered to attend the course. This includes 16 consultant oncologists out of 31 oncologists in the whole country (28 in the government sector, three in private practice). Other attendees include one consultant who is an oncology surgeon, 16 consultant physicians from various disciplines, 4 medical officers, 11 nurses and nurse educators, one psychologist and one social worker, coming from the various universities and government hospitals around the country. This is the biggest batch of medical specialists trained by the Lien Collaborative to date.

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Related Media Reports:
The New Paper – read article
Tamil Murasu (in Tamil) – read article
Straits Times – read article

Lien Collaborative – the progress so far

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Yangon General Hospital

The Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care was inaugurated in Myanmar when the first training was rolled out from 16-22 June 2013. Five expert faculty, 3 doctors and 2 nurses from Singapore and Australia, taught 27 selected candidates from around the country, doctors, nurses and medical social workers, from 11 hospitals and 1 hospice. The host was the Department of Oncology at Yangon General Hospital, the country’s largest teaching hospital. A National Seminar on Opioids was held in Yangon on 5 Oct 2013, organised by the Myanmar Society for the Study of Pain and supported by 3 overseas faculty from the APHN and the Pain and Policy Study Unit, Wisconsin, USA.

Bangladesh was the second country to have this programme. Six faculty, 3 doctors and 3 nurses from Australia, India and Singapore, taught 50 doctors, nurses, pharmacists and social workers from 25-31 July 2013. The teaching took place at the Palliative Care Unit of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and at the Oncology ward of the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital in Dhaka. A seminar on Opioid Availability was held on 11 April 2013, attended by the Director of Narcotics and his staff. Work is also in progress on a MD curriculum for Palliative Care, supported by APHN faculty. When completed in Dec 2013, this will enable the discipline to be recognised as a medical specialty…more

Lien Foundation to develop palliative care initiatives in Myanmar

CNA_130711The Lien Foundation initiative hopes to train about 30 doctors and nurses in better understanding what palliative care is and how to roll it out in a sustainable manner.

The week-long programme will be conducted bi-annually over three years.

Dr Cynthia Goh, chairperson of the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network, said: “Here is something which is low-tech, which is easily available and cheap that we can do right now. For example, a radiotherapy machine costs $1 million and you need to set it up and you need to have the manpower to run it. We already have the doctors and nurses on the wards looking after the patients. We just improve their capabilities.”

Although no official data exists, Myanmar’s medical association has identified a rising number of patients with chronic diseases cancer…read more

From Channel News Asia

APHN faculty trains doctors and nurses in Myanmar

Dr Cynthia Goh attending to cancer patient Nay Lin Thu, 16, as her course trainees, comprising doctors and nurses from Myanmar hospitals, look on. The programme, an initiative by the Lien Foundation, aims to build expertise in palliative care in the region.

Dr Cynthia Goh attending to cancer patient Nay Lin Thu, 16, as her course trainees, comprising doctors and nurses from Myanmar hospitals, look on. The programme, an initiative by the Lien Foundation, aims to build expertise in palliative care in the region.

For the first time, doctors and nurses in Myanmar are being trained on how to help their terminally ill die with dignity and the minimum possible pain.

A group of 27 doctors, nurses and medical social workers from 11 hospitals in Myanmar received training from five palliative care specialists from Singapore and Australia who flew in last week…read more

MOU signed between APHN and BSMMU

LCPC_logo_RGBA MOU was signed between the APHN and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on 19 February 2013 to provide a Training-of-Trainers Programme in Palliative Care at the BSMMU Centre for Palliative Care.  The 1st Bangladesh programme is scheduled for 6-10 April 2013.  Persons interested in attending this programme should contact the BSMMU Centre for Palliative Care (enquiries may be sent to Prof Nezamuddin at palcare_bsmmu@yahoo.com).  This follows the recent feasibility study visits to Bangladesh and Myanmar. The 1st Myanmar programme is planned for 2013 (dates to be confirmed)…read more

At BSMMU-Dhaka-2 At BSMMU-Dhaka-3

BSMMU signs MoU on palliative care

bdnewsbdnews24.com | 19 February 2013 | The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University has signed a three-year deal with a Singapore-based palliative care network to train its doctors and nurses for better treatment of the terminally ill patients.  Vice-Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Prof Pran Gopal Datta and the Associate Professor of Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN), Dr Cynthia Ruth Goh signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday in Dhaka.  Health minister A F M Ruhal Haque was present on the occasion…read more